This week, the Viatorian Community and Viator House of Hospitality added their names to the list of faith communities joining with the Tyler Clementi Foundation in standing up for at-risk LGBT youth in our country.
In doing so, Viatorians join 13 Catholic bishops and more than 100 religious congregations, organizations and schools across the country pledging to be upstanders and reminding LGBT youth of their inherent dignity and of God’s unconditional love.
Their published statement is entitled: “God is on Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth.” Here are some excerpts:
“As we see in the Gospels, Jesus Christ taught love, mercy and welcome for all people, especially for those who felt persecuted or marginalized in any way; and the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that LGBT people are to be treated with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity.’
“All people of goodwill should help, support, and defend LGBT youth; who attempt suicide at much higher rates than their straight counterparts; who are often homeless because of families who reject them; who are rejected, bullied and harassed; and who are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.
“The Catholic Church values the God-given dignity of all human life and we take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you.
“Most of all,” the statement concludes, “know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.”
The parents of Tyler Clementi, Jane and Joseph, formed the foundation after their son died by suicide in 2010 after being bullied and humiliated because of his sexual orientation.
Learn more about Tyler’s story, his namesake foundation and ways to join the movement in taking the upstander pledge, here.